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Seoul: Stocks flat as pandemic worries eclipse EU recovery deal

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South Korean shares were flat on Wednesday, as continued pandemic worries offset market sentiment lifted by the EU recovery fund and US stimulus talks.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares were flat on Wednesday, as continued pandemic worries offset market sentiment lifted by the EU recovery fund and US stimulus talks.

The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

As of 0203 GMT, the benchmark Kospi was up 2.26 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 2,231.09.

US President Donald Trump in his first White House briefing focused on the pandemic in months, warned that the virus would probably get worse before it gets better.

European Union leaders clinched a "historic" deal on a 750 billion euro (S$1.2 trillion) stimulus plan for their coronavirus-throttled economies in the early hours of Tuesday, after a fractious summit lasting almost five days.

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White House officials and top congressional Democrats discussed another round of coronavirus relief that would include extended unemployment insurance and more money for schools.

Foreigners were net sellers of 77.4 billion won (S$0.09 billion) worth of shares on the mainboard.

The won was quoted at 1,193.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.4 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,197.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,193.4 per US dollar, unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,192.4.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.04 per cent.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 417.31 million shares. Of the total 900 traded issues, 439 advanced.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 point to 112.17.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.6 basis points to 0.812 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.7 basis points to 1.349 per cent.

REUTERS

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